Monday March 29th and Tuesday March 30th, Victor Wooten and his brothers and a special guest played at Billboard Live in Osaka. Chiharu bought me tickets as a birthday present so I was thrilled to be going to see the #1 bass player in the world!
Victor Wooten is the youngest of 5 brothers in an obviously incredibly musical family. His first major success was opening for Curtis Mayfield, and then playing bass as a member of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones. From there he went onwards and upwards, eventually winning 4 Grammy’s and 3 times being named Bass Player of the Year by Bass Player Magazine. My best friend introduced me to Victor Wooten as a solo artist performing at an international jazz festival. The first time I heard him was on you tube, playing a gorgeous solo version of Amazing Grace.
Fast forward to this winter, and my mother tells me that Victor Wooten is playing in my hometown, Nanaimo BC! So I check his website and to my [happy] surprise, he was also playing 4 shows in Japan. So you can imagine how excited I was when Chiharu gave me my birthday present and it was 2 tickets to see… Victor Wooten at Billboard Live in Osaka!
It was our first time going to Billboard Live in Osaka, and it quickly became my new favorite live house in Kansai. Stylish, clean, big but not too big. Just right. And thanks to Chiharu, we sat front and center- I could practically reach out and touch Victor and his brother Regie (playing the guitar). The room was comfortable, the food delicious (and the menu was bilingual, Japanese and English!), and best of all….Billboard Live is non-smoking!
After the show, Chiharu was kind enough to buy me the newest Victor Wooten CD, and we got to meet the band and have the CD cover signed! In line with us were many Japanese fans, trying their best to speak English with Victor and his bandmates. I hipe they were happy to have Chiharu and I come through, chatting happily in English. The drummer, Derico Watson, told me that this was his 5th time in Japan on tour! What a lucky guy!
I can’t recommend Billboard Live in Osaka highly enough. Great room, great food and drinks (they even had cranberry juice- my favorite), and fantastic music. Check it out!
Click HERE to see one of my favorite Victor Wooten clips on You Tube.
Edward, SSE Ohtsu Owner/ Teacher